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Purdue University grant will bring veterinary education to children

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Dec 13, 2009
By dvm360.com staff
West Lafayette, Ind. -- Purdue University researchers have received a $1.3 million grant to help educate schoolchildren about animals and the link between human and animal health.

Timothy Ratliff and Sandra Amass of the School of Veterinary Medicine received the five-year grant and will create a variety of programs designed to educate children and spread awareness about animal health.

With the grant, the researchers will create a new health science curriculum for third-, sixth-, and ninth-graders, start a faculty mentor program in Indiana schools, create fitness programs centered around animals, and develop a museum exhibit focused on the links between animal and human health. Dubbed "Fat Dogs and Coughing Horses: Animal Contributions Toward a Healthier Citizenry," the exhibit will be funded through a Science Education and Partnership Award from the National Center for Research Resources, a division of the National Institutes of Health.

The School of Veterinary Medicine will partner with the College of Education to develop a program that will make up for any shortcomings in the state’s current health science curriculum. Kauline Davis, director of diversity initiatives for the veterinary school, will lead the faculty mentoring initiative. The College of Consumer and Family Sciences will help develop pet fitness programs. Finally, the Department of Agricultural Communication will partner with the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to develop an interactive museum exhibit.